Girls, gender stereotyping and posture - how we can stand tall and stand together to make a difference.
Research shows that gender stereotypes result in girls, by the age of six, avoiding subjects they view as requiring them to be “really, really smart”, which leads to lower take-up of STEM subjects in later life.
Lin Bian, Sarah-Jane Leslie, Andrei Cimpian (2017) ‘Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests’ Science 355(6323) pp 389-381
Children who hold more gender stereotyped views, and whose friends emphasize stereotypes, have poorer wellbeing.
Children’s Society, (2020) Good Childhood Report 2020
87% of women asked (aged 11–21) think that women are judged more for their looks than ability.
Girlguiding UK. Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2014. London: Girlguiding; 2014:13
More and more we are seeing the much needed research into the negative effects of gender stereotyping on young people. As one of the founders of Festival of The Girl I am only too aware of just how devastating gender stereotypes can be on young girls, on how they perceive themselves and the world around them, and on their confidence and wellbeing.
Due to gender stereotyping and societal expectations our girls are losing the confidence to own their space and stand tall which is what I'll be exploring in this blog.
Posture has a huge impact on our physical and mental health, our confidence - which is very relevant when speaking about girls, and how we are seen by others. Posture and how we hold ourselves can change our lives. As parents and carers it is up to us to give girls the tools and understanding as to why posture and standing tall is so important.
“Girls' self-esteem, ambition and expectations are the first victims of gender stereotypes.”
Using all I’ve learnt as a posture specialist and Alexander Technique teacher, the founder of Festival of The Girl and She Stands, and a mum of two daughters I will share with you research, information and tools for both yourself and the girls in your life.
I truly believe that if we can help girls (and ourselves) to stand tall and own our space within society we can help with the movement towards a more gender equal world.
We’re standing on the shoulders of the women who came before us. Let’s stand tall for those coming after.
I’m always keen to hear about how you or the young girls in your life might be struggling with areas around posture, standing tall or feeling that you can’t own your space, so please get in touch if there is anything you can share with me or any questions you might have - firstname.lastname@example.org